Independent School Management (ISM) advises schools that a healthy teacher culture (one key to having an effective school) starts by making sure that teachers are given many opportunities to examine their practice and improve themselves. CCS is proud to have a big professional development budget that allows our staff to seek out all kinds of learning opportunities that speak to them personally and professionally, to travel to those classes/conferences/gatherings, and then to return to school and share their experiences with their fellow teachers at staff meetings.
Today's Professional Development Day provided CCS teachers with some important and varied learning experiences. On Wednesday, a few members of the staff traveled to Boston to the Progressive Educator's Network national conference. They have visited another progressive school and spent hours among colleagues from around the country who share a vision for how progressive education makes a difference to children. Brandi will be offering some reflections on this trip for this Journal soon.
The rest of the teachers spent the day together talking about two topics:
- Holly led a discussion in the morning focused on portfolios. This is an aspect of CCS' commitment to observational assessment of children. In addition to observing children directly, a lot of information about how a child is interacting with the curriculum can be gleaned by a deep look at the child's work. From writing to drawing to painting to sculpture, all of these mediums can give teachers insight into a student's thought process and progression. CCS keeps a portfolio of each student's work as they matriculate through the school and these collections are a valued aspect of a teacher's understanding of a student.
- Ruby, Berlin, Brian and Lynn led an afternoon discussion regarding current events and how to integrate news items into the classroom. We strive to have discussions that are developmentally-appropriate while also making sure that we are inviting all questions and comments from students so that they view the adults in their lives as trusted resources about the world. Where to find accurate and age-appropriate items so that discussions are handled sensitively and provide a deeper understanding of the world was the main focus of this conversation and teachers strive to make this piece of our curriculum meaningful to the children.
CCS is proud to have a dedicated staff of teachers who are committed to a progressive model of education and take the work of self-study and improvement so seriously.